Tips to Prevent a Flooded Basement
With record amounts of rainfall lately, the time to think about preventing basement flooding is now. Don’t wait till you walk down your steps to Squish! A few simple preventative measures can prevent lots of headaches and loss later.
Number one tip is to check your sump pump. For most of us it’s part of our homes that is out of sight, out of mind. A simple check would be to pour a bucket of water in the well and make sure the pump comes on. You may want to consider having a model installed that has battery backup in case of power failure. That way even if you’re not home the unit will function in the event of power failure.
Take a walk around the outside of your home. Check the grading of soil to make sure water will flow away from your foundation. Look for evidence of clogged gutters and downspouts, and make sure the downspout directs water away from your home by using splashblocks if necessary.
When in your basement, look around and imagine several inches of standing water. Oftentimes people leave all sorts of perishable items on the floor, such as boxes of paper records, photographs and clothing. Now is the time to place those items on shelving. In the event of a flooded basement your furnishings can be replaced, but some items are irreplaceable.
Whenever you travel for extended periods, it’s always a good idea to shut off your water at the main. Think of all the pipes in your home, a tiny leak anywhere can lead to disaster if not stopped immediately. Every day someone comes home from a trip to discover a flooded basement that could have been easily avoided.
Don’t wait until disaster strikes to create a home inventory. In the event of loss your insurance company will expedite your claim if you have an inventory that includes photos and receipts of items that were damaged or destroyed. Don’t rush out to replace everything until you have verified the coverage on your insurance policy.
Many homeowners assume their insurance covers all sorts of losses. It’s not until after the fact they discover their policy excludes water damage that originates outside the home. It’s usually a very simple and inexpensive rider to add to your policy that will cover water damage originating outside your home.
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